Infoscience

Thesis

Einsatz von Nichtmarktstrategien durch oeffentliche Unternehmen gegenueber dem Staat: Untersuchung am Beispiel der Schweizerischen Post AG

Public enterprises operate in the area between the opposing poles of state and market. On the one hand they must meet a wide range of political expectations, and on the other they must fulfil commercial efficiency criteria. This dissertation addresses how public enterprises handle this ten-sion. Specifically, the focus is on how public enterprises deal with formal, state-defined framework requirements (e.g. laws, regulations, strategic objectives). The study is governed by the question of which non-market strategies public enterprises employ vis-à-vis state actors in order to apply or change the framework requirements in line with their business models. The Swiss Post, the most diversified and (in terms of the workforce) largest public enterprise at federal level, serves as the object of analysis here. Five cases within the Swiss Post are reviewed and analysed using qualitative research methods: the liberalisation of the parcel services market, the reorganisation of the post office network, the Swiss Post¿s entry into tax liability, the interna-tional activities of PostBus Switzerland, as well as the credit ban on PostFinance. For each case (and the ¿ in total ¿ 14 objects of investigation within these cases) I will show which objectives were pursued by the Swiss Post and which non-market strategies it employed vis-à-vis the different state actors in order to achieve these objectives. More than forty semi-structured interviews with the Swiss Post¿s and state representatives provide an overview of all aspects. The research method makes it possible to obtain very specific statements from research subjects which reflect their perception of reality. The analysis of the five case studies produces a model that shows which nonmarket strategies the Swiss Post employs vis-à-vis the state. Four superordinate strategies and five context-specific strategies are differentiated. Transparency vis-à-vis the owner, managing relationships with legis-lative and executive politicians, managing relationships with supervisory bodies, and applying pressure via non-governmental bodies are presented as superordinate strategies. Communicative restraint during periods of business activity without state intervention, negotiation of leeway where there is an active supervisory body, isolation or multiplication of an emerging stimulus that could affect the business activity, intensive focus on providing information in legislative proce-dures, and exerting influence through expertise in the specification of legislation can be identified as context-specific strategies. Three experts are of the view that the model developed here can, in principle, be generalised. The result makes a significant contribution to the specialist literature, for there has thus far been no scientific study that has addressed the question of the influence of public enterprises on state framework requirements. This dissertation proves explicitly that public enterprises deliberately try to influence state policy makers. This finding is documented by means of a new model which pre-sents the non-market strategies employed by public enterprises with the aim of utilising the framework requirements to their full potential, or changing these. Moreover, the research results offer a very detailed insight into the way a large public enterprise functions in Switzerland.

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